Summary: In Psalm 107 we find four ways that God has specifically blessed that call us to be thankful, and the cool thing is these four ways were brought to life by Jesus.
(From Pastor Aaron Burgess, SermonCentral.com)
Thanksgiving is the act of expressing specific gratitude to God for the blessings he has bestowed upon us.
Thanksgiving is the outward and inward communication of how grateful we are for all the things God has given us, whether those things are physical, spiritual or material.
As we grow as Christians we should see a spirit of thanksgiving developing in our lives.
Our relationship with Jesus Christ should transform us into joyful, positive and grateful people.
Maybe you were once a bitter, sour, unthankful person, but overtime an encounter with Jesus Christ should have turned you into a grateful appreciative person.
In fact, one sign that Jesus Christ is living in your heart is gratitude. Izakk Walton, a 17th century author, once said, “GOD HAS TWO DWELLINGS: ONE IN HEAVEN, AND THE OTHER IN A MEEK AND THANKFUL HEART.”
The problem is I don’t always have a meek and thankful heart.
• I sometimes have a proud and self-satisfied heart.
• Or a busy, hyperactive heart.
• Or a sad and heavy heart.
• or an angry, burning heart.
You get the idea.
The Psalm we’re going to look at today, Psalm 107 is a call to give thanks and it’s addressed to the redeemed.
That would be the church wouldn’t it? And that means it’s addressed to the people of the church, right? So it’s addressed to you, if you stand in the company of those who have been saved by Christ.
So this Psalm gets personal right from the first verse:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (v1)
Then the Psalmist tells us:
“Let the redeemed of the LORD say this-- those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.”
Even though we know that God has “redeemed us from the hand of the foe” (v.2) and restored us unto himself (v.3), we still need to be reminded to give God the praise and to be thankful for his great love.
Even after all he has done for us, even while we know he is working in our lives right now, and even as we believe that he will continue to offer us his blessing and hope, we can walk away from God and never say thanks. I do it and I know you do, too.
But people have been taking God for granted since the days of Adam and Eve. Taking God and his blessings, even the most fantastic blessing he’s given us – Jesus Christ, just seems like part of the human condition.
Four times in Psalm 107 we hear it said, “Let them (the redeemed) give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds.”
Four times! Hint! Hint!
“Give thanks to the Lord!” – like children we have to be told to say thanks! Incredible. And this is to the redeemed, those who in relationship with God.
(For what?) “For his unfailing love AND his wonderful deeds” – his great love and how he has shown it to us.
Here’s the thing – Psalm 107 gives us four reasons that we should give praise – four ways that he delivers us that should make us give him thanks over and over, again and again.
But wait, there’s more: as I was studying this Psalm I discovered that these four reasons for thanking our God were reinforced in the New Testament by Jesus through his teachings and his actions (his teachings and actions always go together to form his ministry).
I believe God has connected his reasons with the ministry of Jesus so that we will be moved in our hearts to give thanks to God for his great love.
So that’s how we’re going to look at Psalm 107 – how God gives us reasons to thank him by how he has delivered by his great love AND how Jesus backs up those reasons by his ministry.
The Psalm Teaches Us
Psalm 107:4-9 (NIV)
4 Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. 5 They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. 6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 7 He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. 8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, 9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
• We, the redeemed were once lost; we couldn’t find our way and we couldn’t rest
• We were once hungry and thirsty – physically and spiritually empty; nothing satisfied us; we always wanted more